Other Water Activities

Diving & Snorkeling

Diving & Snorkeling

Recreational boats can be especially hazardous to persons diving or snorkeling in the water. For ultimate safety, federal and state navigation rules require that divers display flags so that boaters know to steer clear of the area.

Because diving is a popular water sport, boaters must understand how to identify and react to a diver down flag. Certain weather conditions and the wake of a boat, in addition to many other factors, may make it impossible for boaters to see divers’ bubbles. “Diver down” flags make boaters aware that diving is taking place in the area, even if the divers cannot be seen. If a diving flag is spotted, operators of other boats should remain at least 100 feet away from the marked vessel and area.

Alpha Flag

Divers’ boats are required to display the internationally-recognized blue and white Code Flag Alpha.

Alpha Flag

Divers down Flag

Divers should also display a red and white flag on a buoy that marks the area where diving is in progress, though divers may sometimes stray from the boundaries of the marked area. It is recommended that divers remain within 100 meters of their flag. States have some laws that are specific to their devices.

Divers down Flag